Tuesday, September 13, 2011

LG Optimus 3D: I love the 3D!

My LG Optimus 3D arrived 3 weeks ago. I'd ordered it from mobicity.co.nz on a Thursday afternoon. It left Guangchou on Friday, the next day. It was in my hand by Noon the following Monday.

I'm impressed. But it got better.

It's a Telecom XT version (P925G) and is rich in Rogers livery, intended for sale in Canada.

I'm really impressed with the Optimus 3D. It feels good. Runs really quick and smooth. The 3D screen is actually pretty good. I'm able to watch 3D video from YouTube 'natively' on the (4.5"? - bigger than the HTC Sensation) screen without crossing my eyes or wearing glasses. That's nice!


The LG Optimus 3D is pre-loaded with Android v2.2 upgradeable to 2.3 in October '11 (I'm told).


The screen resolution is 800x480...which on a big screen works out really well for these 53yo eyes.  You can actually see the detail in the icons! I'm not used to that as my other phones have had smaller screens or higher resolution. Either way, things were smaller on the screen.

Performance / Capacity

The phone's dual-core 1GHz processor delivers good, snappy performance. The 512MB of RAM may be less than other top-end phones in relative terms, but it doesn't appear to matter in absolute terms. Perhaps this is due to the "tri-dual" implementation LG have used: dual-core, dual-channel, dual RAM. Whatever, this phone can't be accused of being slow.

There is 1GB of app storage. not as much as some other high-end phones, but more than I have ever used. I still have 400MB left after installing every app i can think of that I might want to use every now and again...maybe. Games typically put their data on the sdcard, so that doesn't matter, either.

Without adding external storage, you get about 5.5GB of internal storage space - of which about 1.5 GB is used to store included 3D apps. I added a 16GB Class 10 microSD. I suspect they have an 8GB sdcard hard-wired inside and have subdivided it into partitions for system, installed app storage and user data / app space.

Camera and Photos / Video

The 3D photos the phone produces are 5mp 2D stills or 3.2mp x 2 stereo images. Just good enough for me, but may not be for others. The camera app has a built-in editor for editing 2D and 3D photos. It's actually very useful. You can tweek the pics righrt there on phone before sharing them. You can crop or resize. You can manipulate brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, RGB and there is an "auto" option as well. You can then save the file with a new name if you prefer - and I always prefer as I never alter my originals. You very often can't just take them again. The moment passed.

The files are in *.jps format, which is basically side-by-side, cross-eyed, jpeg. If your favourite PC or phone-based viewing / editing app can't see *.jps, you can just make a copy (I never mess with the originals!) ending in *.jpg and it should be able to see them. The still camera's default still image aspect is 4:3. I prefer 16:9....but I have my Fujifilm 3D camera for that.

Every 3D sharing web site I know of can handle *.jps directly, except 3df33d.tv. 3dfeed.tv will allow you to upload the LG Optimus 3D's pics provided the file name ends with the *.jpg extension. No problem. Just make a copy that ends in *.jpg.

The video the LG Optimus 3D produces is 720p HD. The quality is pretty good for a phone and considering there are two images in there....not just one.


The LG Optimus 3D's twin cameras are 25mm apart. That's about 1 inch, for those in the last country on Earth that isn't metric. (You know who you are). That is about 1/3 the distance between human eyes, which is about 75mm (also like the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 camera). This means the 'parallax' - the difference between the two views - is also much less. What THAT means is that you lose the sense of depth sooner than you would if the same scene were viewed through human eyes The upside - and there is one - is that you can see depth clearly in photos taken at much closer distances than with a camera that matches the human eye distance. For example, the LG Optimus 3D phone can happily snap away at things only half a metre (1/5 feet) away to good 3D effect, while the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 camera struggles to properly represent things in scenes that are close then 1.5 metres (about 5 feet) away.  This matter particularly if you want to use the red/cyan anaglyph 3D viewing method. Images that are too close just won't line up right if the parallax is too great. The LG Optimus 3D is great for 3D of people and things close to you. A camera with greater parallax (like the Fuji) is better for  outdoor scenes and landscapes...and people and things more than 3 metres (10ft) away.

The UI

The Optimus 3D's UI looks like Samsung's TouchWiz, but is actually usable....I kinda like it. We'll see how we go. I removed all the Rogers apps from the Home screen. No big deal. They don't work anyway in NZ.

The "3D Space" UI is also good fun. A sort of spin-able horizontal wheel of 3D aspects (3D Apps & Games, YouTube, 3D Gallery, 3D Apps, 3D Camera) all presented in a 3D display with depth that I really like. A new owner of the phone can see immediately a strong hint of  the potential of this device. Opinions will vary. They always do with 3D. :-)

I really like the glass on the LG Optimus 3D. I use SlideIt, a swipe keyboard...and the glass on the LG doesn't get "sticky" if you're writing a long email. On my SG-S and HTC Sensation I noticed the glass face can gradually increase friction with my finger tip. This doesn't happen with the LG. Odd....but good.

3D Games

I've also had a chance to download the 318MB for "Asphalt 6" racing game - included with the phone (Remember - included stuff may vary from telco to telco). I think it looks great in 3D. :-)  I've also had a quick peek at "Nova", also included, and it looks like it could be fun. The graphics are good enough for me. There is a golf game, too. Haven't tried it yet. Also noticed I can play any 3D video on YouTube in 3D on the screen without needing glasses. That's cool.

Bottom Line

I'm *really* impressed. It's better than I thought it would be. The LG Optimus 3D is my main phone now, even though I also own two other phones with nominally higher spec. I love the 3D!

Here are some sample images in stereo cross-eyed format. Click through to see them in full size. Also below is a link to a video I shot on the LG Optimus 3D.

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